Hummus with Harissa Oil, Parsley and Toasted Pita

I don’t keep ready-to-eat products at home, but hummus is a high-protein, healthy (and delicious) exception to that rule.  Made from easily-sourced, individually inexpensive ingredients, hummus is nonetheless becoming expensive to buy already made.  My solution of course, is to make it at home to my own taste..

Hummus with Harissa Oil, Parsley and Toasted Pita

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
3 cups filtered water
2-3 garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
1 tablespoon harissa (a Tunisian hot chilli sauce, optional)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup organic white sesame seeds
1/3 cup olive oil, divided

Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat (about 15 minutes).  Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Pulse repeatedly until broken up, then begin to drizzle in up to 1/4 cup of olive oil while still processing, resulting in a paste with the consistency of thin peanut butter.  This is tahini paste, a component of hummus.  Scrape the tahini into a clean container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Discard any chickpeas that are floating along with the soaking water.  Place the chickpeas in a saucepan and cover with the fresh, filtered water.  Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until just tender, about 1 hour.  Set aside to cool.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and remaining olive oil and process until smooth, adding a little of the chickpea cooking liquid along the way.

Transfer the hummus to a serving bow, drizzle with olive oil mixed with harissa and serve with toasted pita bread.  Leftover hummus will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Stir a little olive oil into it if it gets dry.

The earliest known recipes for something similar to hummus bi tahini date to 13th century Egypt as a cold purée of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemons with herbs, spices, and oil, but no tahini or garlic…

The earliest known documentation of hummus (حمّص) itself comes from 18th-century Damascus;  it appears that it was unknown elsewhere at that timeHummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has significant amounts of folate and vitamin B6. The chickpeas make it a good source of protein and dietary fiber; the tahini (طحينه) is an excellent source of the amino acid methionine, complementing the proteins in the chickpeas.  Hummus is useful in vegetarian and vegan diets; like other combinations of grains and pulses, it serves as a complete protein when eaten with bread.  –Wikipedia